Release Date: Nov 9, 2010
Record label: Warner Bros.
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Garage Punk, Garage Rock Revival, Psychedelic/Garage, Garage Rock
The optimistically titled fourth disc from these Midwestern garage revivalists is not unlike the racket bassist Jack Lawrence and drummer Patrick Keeler kick up alongside Jack White and Brendan Benson in the Raconteurs. But whereas White relives rock history in fever dreams, Greenhornes singer-guitarist Craig Fox envisions the past through heavy eyelids. His rollicking punk tunes are coolly detached, and his psychedelic mudslides often laze in drooged-out repose: "Cave Drawings," a first-acid-trip vision of "floating sunbeams of satin," evokes a chill-out room from 1966.
While eight years separated the Greenhornes' third and fourth albums, it's not like the band sat around twiddling their thumbs after 2002's Dual Mono. The Greenhornes went through some lineup changes, they cut an EP during a short-lived deal with V2 Records, they did plenty of touring, and the rhythm section of Jack Lawrence and Patrick Keeler were recruited by friend and fan Jack White to play in his side project the Raconteurs. But though **** hardly sounds like the Greenhornes have been in a vacuum since the last time they cut an album, it shows the band is still firmly in touch with their strengths, and if some of the rougher edges of their music have gone, the soul and the fire are as strong as ever.
[b]Craig Fox[/b], frontman of this Rust Belt garage trio, could make for a fine lead in a Douglas Coupland novel. Since 2002, Fox’s bandmates [b]Patrick Keeler[/b] and [b]Jack Lawrence[/b] have been transported onto a higher plane with [a]The Raconteurs[/a] and [a]The Dead Weather[/a]. But Fox has awoken with a jolt of melody-drenched classic R&B, sounding just as gloriously out of time as he did on ‘[b]Dual Mono[/b]’ eight years ago.
Is it a camouflaged expletive? A pre-emptive star rating? Either way, the title of the Greenhornes' first album in eight years exemplifies the Ohio trio's confidence. You can't blame them: this is a band with friends in high places. Jim Jarmusch has written their liner notes, while Jack White raided the band's rhythm section for both the Raconteurs and the Dead Weather.
They revel in their retro-rock genre with mellifluous joie de vivre. David Sheppard 2010 Innovation is overrated, or so you imagine The Greenhornes would have us think. Certainly, based on the evidence of the 12 pocket battleship essays on ****, the Cincinnati combo’s fourth album in a decade (and first for eight years), their obvious predilection for classic garage rock, R&B and British Invasion guitar pop would have us believe that amplified rock’n’roll music peaked in 1966.